The implementation of an oncologist referred, exercise self-management program for older breast cancer survivors

Teresa M. Damush, Anthony Perkins, Kathy Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: With increased breast cancer survivor rates among older women, the negative outcomes of breast cancer treatment may linger for years. Method: We designed and implemented an oncologist referred, exercise self-management program to increase physical activity and health-related quality of life using a pretest-posttest, single group design. We recruited 34 breast cancer survivors seen for a follow-up oncology visit at two university cancer treatment centers. Women with a mean age of 59.6 years (S.D. = 66) comprised the sample. Average time since diagnosed was 3.1 years; 45% had stage I breast cancer and 55% had stage 11; 62% received chemotherapy and 59% received a mastectomy. Following a baseline assessment on exercise support, self-efficacy, barriers and benefits; quality of life; and a functional performance test, subjects participated in self-management classes and received telephone support. Participants (n = 30) repeated the assessment at 6-months. We compared scores between time periods using t-tests. Results: Older women increased frequency of weekly, moderate physical activities (p≤0.04), and weekly caloric expenditure (p≤0.02). Perceived exercise barriers (p≤0.02), aerobic endurance (p<0.04) and lower body strength (p<0.03) approached significance, and health-related quality of life (p≤0.001) significantly improved. Conclusion: An exercise self-management format referred by an oncologist is efficacious for implementing a lifestyle modification change among older breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)884-890
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006


  • Cancer
  • Exercise
  • Implementation
  • Older survivors
  • Oncology
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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